What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Adapt or Die”! Quite the sticky situation that these agents have found themselves in. Underestimating their enemy, and allowing for the kind of counterattack which has rocked them to their very core, and I do mean that literally! Where they say that the stakes are higher than ever? That means much more than any other time I have said that in the past. Especially since we are talking about a dangerous operation which should not have seen the light of day for another forty years.
I was ready for a lot of things this week, but not the way we were hit with one thing after the next which challenged the resilience of these agents. This started with what was unfolding within the Lighthouse. I will admit, it was fun to notice things here and there which were obviously falling into place with what we know about the state the Lighthouse ends up in over the years. Though that fun was easily overpowered by the terror in everything that you knew May and Coulson would have to go through in order to take back control of the base from the Chronicoms. This right here was our moment to understand what they truly did with all of those years and resources to plan a proper course of action against the agents. It was impressive because no time was wasted from them gaining the numbers or the influence. They adapted in the same way that you would expect H.Y.D.R.A. to have. In turn making complete sense of why this episode was titled the way it was. Taking much of this from the perspective of Coulson felt right as well. If there was one person who would really get what goes through the mind of a machine, it would be the one who is a machine himself.
Now picking up from last week’s episode, there was the problem that is the Zephyr damaged and the agents aboard exposed. This part right here was worth the wait, because somehow we knew that this had to be the episode where we finally understood what Simmons did to herself to make this mission possible. If there was one thing we knew, it was that there had to be something she did to herself, and it had to be Enoch who helped her accomplish this. The lead into discovery was great for the fact that this was an issue between whoever was going to find out, and how much of a problem this would be in terms of fixing the Zephyr in time. I would say that the truth was satisfying. Not only that, but the establishing of what is actually at stake for Simmons keeping certain things need to know.
Turning our attention back to the Lighthouse, this brings us to Mack and Elena who make a daring rescue for his parents. This I don’t think any of us were ready for. We were ready for a lot of things, but not where this was going to go by the end of the episode. I actually commend them on where they took this, because there had to be consequences for letting things get this far. With enough time, preparation, and willingness to cross a line, the Chronicoms were always going to get one over in some way. If this wasn’t personal enough already, now it is anything but.
The most chilling scene was definitely following what Daisy and Sousa would suffer at the hands of one power hungry Nathaniel Malick and his goons. From the minute you knew he wanted Daisy’s powers, you just knew that this was something that would hurt. The build-up was perfect too. In just one moment we were able to remember all which was horrifying about the Inhumans storyline. One which put a lot that was human about this game of spies to the test. Nathaniel Malick’s dialogue and personality hit home because so much could have gone wrong, and so much could have been worse dealing with his methods. He wasn’t just power hungry either, he was desperate. I’m glad they didn’t show what happened on that table either. That would not have been for the feint of heart. That said, I appreciated the role which Sousa played in this. A lot of this mission has been new territory for him so far, but this right here took the cake. There was no better time than now for him to get that push to himself remember what it means to have a purpose. It starts with something as small as caring about someone else.
At the end of the day, while we knew deep down that “Adapt or Die” was meant for the Chronicoms, it really should have been a message for the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after what they just experienced. You look for that one moment in the story where the heroes are at their lowest, and this might be it right here. This is what it looks like when you spend too much time being one step behind.